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The events leading up to a minimalist life are usually preceded by a series of shopping trips to the mall to buy whatever you can afford with the money you have, or borrow on credit. You quickly take all of your newly acquired things home, hoping for happiness with a sinking feeling in your heart that something big is still missing – and it is. When you look at it that way, consumerism doesn’t quite sound so appealing. Yet, it is the chosen way of life for a majority of the population, though more and more people are slowly coming around to experience the benefits of minimalism, finding out that life with less, is actually more.
More experiences, more freedom, more relaxation, more free time, more money.
It is also about less.
Less stress, less mess, less work.
And it is about better health, better financial situations, a better living environment and better relationships – after all, deep connections take time to nurture.
For those sagacious individuals who end up choosing a minimalist lifestyle, the benefits are innumerable, and sometimes quite unexpected. Listed above are the commonly talked about comforts of a minimalist lifestyle, yet if we dig a little deeper, there is still much more to discover as I have personally found out over the past fifteen years.
In a nutshell, my minimalist journey started with a move abroad, landing 5,564 miles away from Seattle. Twenty small boxes sailed across the sea and traveled by land, only to come a few months later than expected. It turned out that we could make ends meet without our so-called “beloved belongings”. This led my husband and I to become intrepid homesteaders, able to deal with anything life had to throw at us, and throw some curveballs it did!
Outside of having less money, not more, which happens to all of us from time to time, we began to comprehend what true minimalism was all about. For us, it was a way to slow down and reconnect with nature in the literal sense, taking our shoes off to get grounded on a daily basis. It shaped us into the environmentally conscious beings that we are today. As we face a changing climate, the ability to adapt is priceless and minimalists are at an advantage as they already know their physical limits.
Yet, it is often the intangible items on the list that hold the most importance in life, let’s explore the four hidden benefits of minimalism:
More quiet time.
Perhaps one of the most valuable benefits of minimalism is the peace that comes along with owning less. Getting rid of our television was one of the best things we have ever done. The quiet that ensued allowed us more time to talk to each other, strengthening our marriage and empowering our daughter to engage in life outside the screen. Even now, we take regular digital detox days to make way for a simple life lived offline. Remove email, social media notifications and the phone, then you will rediscover how calm life can be. Quiet is essential for deeper thinking and for not losing sight of what matters most in your life.
Make way for creativity!
The combination of slowing down, paired with moments of silence, translates into room for creativity to blossom. This can be taken in any which way, from singing, to songwriting or playing an instrument, all the way to writing poetry, which can lead us to greater self-awareness as we strengthen our brain and cultivate our vocabulary at the same time. It is multi-tasking to a higher degree, quite different than having twenty tabs open on our desktop. In a noiseless environment we are able to think straight as we regain the ability to trust our intuition once again.
Discover concealed confidence you never knew existed.
As you pare down your belongings, you will have the chance to discover who you really are – not the person who others expect you to be. Step into your new role with confidence and be proud of who you have become! With all the quiet, creative time you have on hand, you can focus on yourself. No, not in a selfish way, but in a personal growth kind of way, where you bring the attention to your goals and career, so that you become the inspiration for others. Sit with your thoughts for long enough and you will find that the necessary courage is already within.
More energy for caring about the environment.
Once you have fully embraced minimalism, the environment will be in the forefront. It will become the reason for buying, or not buying, certain things; just as it will make you aware of the damage that can be caused when we purchase for all the wrong reasons. Focus on quality over quantity, go plastic-free or zero-waste. Do whatever you feel compelled to do to live lighter on the planet.
Now, that you have unearthed more confidence and visualized your boundless creativity, you will be able to hear that nature is calling you outside.
Set down that screen, open the window or step outdoors, and take in a deep breath of fresh air and discover the (un)hidden benefits of minimalism.
Minimalism is comfortable freedom. Contemplate that.
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It seems to be a question asked by more and more of us, ordinary people and experts of the topic alike: how to live sustainably in an ever-changing world?
The happenings of modern everyday life bring it up and have us regurgitate it with ever increasing assertion, demand – ruthlessly coercing us into coming up with a viable answer. And validation means results that truly work, bringing positive feedback from any angle, but more about this later.
Our intuition is equally starved for that sense of balance and harmony within the self, without, and on that energetic fascia (interface) between the two, the universal adhesive molding everything into one and inseparable.
The answer to the question “how to live sustainably” is a very probable remedy to the quandary “why am I here” or “what is the purpose of life”.Roland Magyar
If and when we live and act as though we were the Earth itself, because we truly are an expression of the Earth, like the T-Rex was, the Yangtze giant softshell turtle will have been when the last known specimens give up the futile search for mates or whales are with bellies often swelling of our disposables, then we’ll know how to live sustainably: free of remorse.
How to live sustainably is a heart over mind matter
There is little to figure and a lot to feel out. How to live sustainably is much less a task of intellectual processing than it is an emotional realignment issue. We simply cannot compute ourselves and the Earth back into a sustainable oscillation range. It takes loving ourselves back into it.
When we mention love, we mean the yearning kind of deep desires; nothing promiscuous and shallow. The love we need to come to feel towards the planet as the mirror of our own image is the greatest possible, an all-encompassing love. Every other direction we give to our love, can only exist within the context of this universal Earth-love.
Living sustainably is a poetic confession of Earth-love.
And this love is always positive in intention. It does not consider, so it’s inconsiderate of possible whiplash, painful side effects – love opens up and pours unconditionally; poetically, rather than prosaically. Prose has everything to do with the musings of the mind, whereas poetry is the voice of the heart, the language of the future.
Love is our soft side that we need to embrace and openly share, regardless of our age or gender. That being said, modern-day men have the virtuous responsibility, the near-transcendental duty of admitting to and uninhibitedly expressing their feminine side of this loving care, caring love. Women on the other hand ought to not waver in what they intuitively do so well.
How to live sustainably is mastering the art of trusting our intuition.
Intuition has little to do with cognition and everything to do with the area of our energetic body located in the heart, stomach and gut regions as a compound parasensory organ, if you will. Intuition is often called our gut intelligence.
It is liberating to relax your brain and enjoy mind-free living.
How to live sustainably is also about the realignment of our material environment with the heart
Once the emotional confusion is cleared, and we have lifted the Earth into our heart as the single most important source of well being, and have begun consciously reciprocating its benevolence towards its entire Animate Self, it follows to adjust our material culture to this new and to-be-constant reality.
Now, this step might come with its own confusions, blurred vision, due to prior value patterns so deeply, epigenetically, ingrained in our decision-making, so it is entirely natural to feel like the odds are stacked against us as we are forging ahead into the unknown – learning how to live sustainably. It is important to know, that we are not alone, and others have likely experienced a similar quandary before, so reach out and seek their advice.
Seek advice from those further along on their sustainable journey
We can hire an expert sustainable life designer as a professional green living coach, whose earlier life experiences both inspired and entitled her or him to be the guide, the source of intuitive wisdom on our journey, as we learn to build our own intuiting muscles.
We can also decide to find our way through the maze and into a new existence alone – it is perfectly legitimate and effective to learn from our own successes and mistakes, although it might take longer.
Become an eco-minimalist
Either path we choose to take in the wide open field of how to live sustainably (because, after all, there are as many paths as many individuals setting on those paths), all of the routes are bound to pass through a good few slimming nodes, some bottle necks, where the continuously evolving consciousness will order a paring down in the material baggage. This selective lightening of our load is the most authentic if it has strong ecological filters, for even minimalists can burden our climate, if not enough intuitive consciousness is applied to a simple lifestyle.
Suddenly, the new benchmark in material standards is the ecological aspect of the quality: whether the item under scrutiny is sustainably made.
See what transformative benefits eco-minimalism has in store for your children or grandchildren.
Digital era conundrum: how little exposure is enough?
Notice: our precept here isn’t how much is not too much, like the usual warning signals you hear nowadays, but one a long step further ahead – can we live without, and if not, how little digital content does our life have to suffer, when exploring the future of how to live sustainably.
Sustainability lies beyond any and all screens
On our family’s part, while Cheryl reports of internet and digital device fatigue, Roland can’t help but return to the same question: could we not live well, again, without the interference of digital connectedness? Seems as though both of us, and our almost nine-year-old daughter who has great fun any time she is outdoors, are affected by the same intuitive pull off the line, encouraging us to do something creative, productive and satisfying with our hands; to randomly focus near and far with our eyes, as they wander following calls of nature; to not only breathe, but smell the air that sustains us and discern its components without judgment.
This inner and very true draw largely goes unsatisfied, undernourished, in modern-day society with the undoubtable consequence of a steady alienation from nature, our originator and essence of all life. It appears to us that this process of alienation is placeable somewhere between a direct proportionality line and the exponential growth curve in relation to time spent some place in ether – be it only a radio program.
How to live sustainably is not a desperate search for compromises. In fact we want you to dissociate from the concept of living by compromises at all: erase them from your conscious vocabulary. They will always have us come out shortchanged, compared to our wishes, so they have an obvious thwarting, life-joy desiccating effect. No!
We want to embrace a gentle intransigence and progress towards a faithful following of our intuitive impulses.
Yet, as we do so, we are likely to have to demolish some antiquated obstacles of cultural and, again, epigenetic origin to be able to walk our true paths. Along the way, we are advised to use a gradually built up force of self-confidence. Hence, in relation to becoming independent of the digital world, as users anyway (not of the electromagnetic waves that fill the air and move through walls largely out of our control), we’d better shorten and simplify our exposure, making our time spent in its immediate radius as efficient as possible.
Schedule your way out
Streamlining takes stretching our imagination sometimes: for instance, while this post is being conceived and typed, in the background there is a sacral chakra healing sound therapy playing.
Besides, we do want to stay connected with the world, do want to share our feelings, thoughts and deeds that concern the future of life on Earth, the impressions of how to live sustainably. Nonetheless, the embodiment of all our potentials, the real excitement, the true meaning has always happened, and always will, away from the screen and virtual buttons to tap.
Like all animate beings, however small or large, that occupy space with their presence, we are meant to have all-sensory experiences. Inherently, we are ready to receive and emit sensorial impulses. These keep us alive and maintain us who we are in sanity.
A great way to honor our belonging to this great matrix of reciprocal participation in life, is to have generous time spans consciously set aside for offline activities that involve nothing digital. Then gradually shift focus and flip the whole scheduling over to carve out some time when we do online business, sharing what we have. As though electricity and the internet were only available for brief intervals of time…
Reducing our dependency on technology is one of the greatest ways we can reduce our carbon footprint – a major concern when feeling for how to live sustainably on this beautiful Earth.
Cantilever carbon-dioxide: Oxygenate!
Now let’s look past our own immediate good and see how one, anyone, can express her or his gratitude toward our Earth parent. This great soul and body, who is overheating from the exertion we perform to Our Planet‘s expense.
Cool her back
It is our duty, everyone’s with good conscience, interested in how to live sustainably in a global sense as well, to help in regenerating the Earth’s canopy. The planet has a heat capturing gas-phase lid spread above. Now it takes a solid-phase cooling umbrella underneath that heat cap. It’s called a forest canopy. Where we are no longer patting our shoulders for having planted a tree or two (most likely some edible fruit bearing species) in our lifetime, “but look how nicely it grows”…
We do feel by now that it’s not enough. Trees need to touch trees, their roots intertwining in an intimate embrace, likewise their branches and leaves, so our native squirrels can do their acrobatics from coast to coast without being forced to land.
It only takes one walk on a hotter day to feel the difference on our own skin between full sun and the shade of a tree. A single tree. Let alone a whole forest. Imagine the event, if you don’t have personal experience of it yet. The complexity of a closed forest’s benefits is almost unfathomable.
We all, who share in with reforestation, actively oxygenate the whole globe’s air and sink carbon, minimizing not only our individual carbon footprint, but lessening the pressure from our fellow humans as well, all around the world, no matter where our planting takes place. Locally, it provides habitat, but globally, it might save species from extinction. Underneath the woodland cover, reforestation keeps soil from eroding, but on a world scale, it lessens the burden of runoff pollution of the waterways.
If and when our generosity allows, enjoying a financial endowment and a moral call to match, go ahead and invest in land that is pledged to be developed for the benefit of the whole Earth. This is investment of scale, and so is the positive impact.
Try to see how you can contribute to forest regeneration roughly within the geographic latitude of your home, within your climate zone, that you can perhaps better relate to, know it more intimately as habitat.
We can only find out how to live sustainably as long as we are grounded
Let’s get off or out of our chairs, seats of all kinds (if our bodies only allow) set our bare feet on the ground and get walking. At our own pace, in our personal gate of comfort, but let’s acquaint our soles and souls with the skin of the Earth again. Enjoy the multitude of its physically stimulating textures, the inspiration our psyche is guaranteed to receive, and all the gentle healing power we are given.
Earth! Earth! Earth! As a verb, as an act, as a lifestyle
We can only do so if our skin is in direct contact with the earth (the natural ground, even if it is water), or if there is an electrically conductive material connecting us to the Earth’s low voltage negative electric charge.
These materials include, but are not limited to, leather, plant and animal fibers for footwear or clay, mud, soil, salty and fresh water for grounding with other body parts or the whole body. Examples to the latter activities would be gardening, swimming or sleeping-resting on grounding beds.
ForestCreekMeadows offers you some basics of DIY earthing footwear craft, using primarily hemp rope as raw material and there is a plethora of other online sources too to help you step into your own style of not only ecological, but grounding shoes, sandals, boots or whatever you fancy.
Try all of these (on) and see how it feels to live sustainably: no aches, no remorse – sheer pleasure to be alive on Earth!